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Information on Leach / Parker / Parkin Family


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bfrance99

Hi everyone, this is my first post on here so I'm sorry if I've posted in the wrong area, but I'm hoping that someone can help me shed light on what seems to be a confusing situation. This is quite a long post as it's a complicated situation, so apologies for that! 

I am researching a relative, Annie May Parker (born on 10 January 1907 according to the 1939 Register). She married George Willis France in 1930 in Sheffield. I know from talking to relatives that Annie May was not born in Sheffield (although possibly still in the Yorkshire area) but no-one quite knew where she was born, so I reached a barrier where I couldn't work out who her parents were or where she was born. 

It wasn't until I came across the Sheffield Indexers website where I found the parish record of Annie May and George's marriage - her father is listed as William Parker (fireman) and her address was 51 Bloor Street, Sheffield. More interestingly, she was listed as Annie May Leach Parker, which I hadn't come across before. I also found Annie May France and George Willis France's burial record, and their grave is shared with William Parker (b. 1865 approx) and Louisa Parker (b. 1878 approx), who I am assuming are her parents. 

I then started trying to find a William Parker, a Louisa Parker and an Annie May Parker at the same address in the 1911 census, but nothing quite fit, until I eventually came across a census record from Huddersfield. She wasn't listed as Annie May Parker, but as Annie May Leach, and was described as a 'niece' to William Parker. William Parker was married to Annie Parker (instead of a Louisa Parker) and they had a number of children together (May Parker, Gertrude Parker, Nellie Parker, Louisa Parker, Willie Parker and Lily Parker). Annie May also had (presumably) a sister called Harriet Leach (b. 1903 approx), who was also listed as a 'niece'.

I found a parish record of Harriet's baptism (she was actually born in 1902) where her mother is listed as Louisa Leach, and no father's details are provided. Louisa's occupation is 'single woman'. I haven't found a parish record of Annie May's baptism, but on the Birth Registration Index, her mother's maiden name is listed as Leach, so presumably it is also Louisa. 

As far as I can see, there is no Louisa Leach that relates to either William Parker or Annie Parker. I haven't verified this yet, but I think Annie Parker's maiden name was Ely. 

I tried to find other records of the Parker family, like from the 1901 census and the 1891 census, but I couldn't find anything. I felt like I was at another dead end - it was as though the family had just not existed before 1911. I remembered that I had the baptism record of Harriet Leach, and it said that she was born at 3 Broad Oaks Lane. I had a look at other baptisms recorded at this address, and there was a record of a Dorothy Vera Leach born in 1901 at the same address, also with her mother listed as Louisa, a 'single woman' (Dorothy Vera then sadly died at 4 months old according to a burial record). 

I decided to have a look at the 1901 census for this address, and sure enough, I found a Louisa Leach. She was listed as a 'visitor' and her age was 23 (so approximately born in 1878). And strangely enough, she was living with the Parkin family - William Parkin, Annie Parkin, May Parkin, Gertrude Parkin, Nellie Parkin, Louisa Parkin and Willie Parkin. The details exactly matched the Parker family, and explained why I couldn't find them. I couldn't understand why she was listed as a visitor at the address though, since she was obviously living there more permanently as in 1902 she gave birth to Harriet. Also, if she was related to either William or Annie, wouldn't the relationship be listed as 'sister' or 'sister-in-law'? 

What's more, her age matches the age of Louisa Parker who is buried with William Parker and Annie May France. Could this be the same person?

I had a look for marriage records of Louisa Leach and sure enough, I found that in 1936, she married a William Parkin. I also found Louisa Leach in the 1911 census, and she was also in Huddersfield, merely a half an hour's walk away from the Parker/Parkin family. 

My theory is that Louisa was some sort of mistress to William Parker/Parkin, and explains why she was listed as their 'visitor' in the 1911 census and why William Parker allowed Harriet and Annie May to remain living with him, since he was their biological father. His name was probably not listed as a father on a birth/baptism record since he was already married to someone else. Yet surely this living situation must have been incredibly abnormal at the time (it would be abnormal now!), since Annie would have surely known about the infidelity. I am curious to know if anyone has come across the Leach/Parker/Parkin family before, or if not, what their thoughts are on this situation? 

I am also still confused as to whether William Parker's last name was actually Parker or whether it was Parkin. In some records (e.g. his burial record, his record on the Death Registration Index) it is Parker, yet in others (e.g. 1901 census, marriage record) it is Parkin! 

Apologies again for the long post, and many thanks for taking the time to read it. 

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RichardS

Could it be that Dorothy might be a twin? as buried in the same grave is (from SheffIndexers):

PARKIN, Annie Leach (Infant, age 2 months).
     Died at 3 Broad Oaks Lane; Buried on July 18, 1901 in Consecrated ground;
     Grave Number 1613, Section G of Darnall Cemetery, Sheffield.
     Parent or Next of Kin if Available: ~. Remarks: from Attercliffe Parish: Officiating Minister R N Dewe.
     Plot Owner: ~ ~ of ~. Page No ~
     Find Similar in Same Grave             Same Household if Available            Surname Match if Available

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bfrance99
56 minutes ago, RichardS said:

Could it be that Dorothy might be a twin? as buried in the same grave is (from SheffIndexers):

PARKIN, Annie Leach (Infant, age 2 months).
     Died at 3 Broad Oaks Lane; Buried on July 18, 1901 in Consecrated ground;
     Grave Number 1613, Section G of Darnall Cemetery, Sheffield.
     Parent or Next of Kin if Available: ~. Remarks: from Attercliffe Parish: Officiating Minister R N Dewe.
     Plot Owner: ~ ~ of ~. Page No ~
     Find Similar in Same Grave             Same Household if Available            Surname Match if Available

Ooh thanks for pointing this out, for some reason I hadn’t seen it. 

I’m thinking that this isn’t a twin, but another child of Annie and William Parkin. There’s a baptism record (from Sheffield Indexers): 

PARKIN, Annie Leach (of 3 Broad Oaks Lane, born 1901-05-02).
     Baptised May 22, 1901, by S E Paling at Christ Church, Attercliffe.
     Parents name(s) are Annie & William (Fireman).
     Note: ~
     Godparents: ~ :Page No 38 :Reg No 299

It does say on the 1911 census that Annie had 11 children, 5 of whom died so I’m guessing that Annie Leach Parkin was one of them. 

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bfrance99

Update from the original post: I am now believe that Annie Parker’s maiden name is Leach, so she is Louisa’s sister. 
There is a marriage record from 1886 which shows an Annie Leach and a William Parkin marrying each other. This explains why Annie May Leach and Harriet Leach are described as his niece in the 1911 census. However, there are still a number of question marks - Louisa had three illegitimate children while living with William and Annie Parkin, which seems odd. Louisa also then married William shortly before his death in 1937. I haven’t yet worked out whether he divorced Annie or whether Annie died before the marriage took place. 

All in all, it still seems like a very complicated family situation. If anyone has any thoughts on this, I would be really grateful to hear them :) 

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